‘Family Planning Not Aimed At Limiting Number Of Children’

Family planning is not aimed at limiting the number of children a person can have but rather help couples and sexually active people to freely decide on the number of children to have and when to have them, among other objectives, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have said.

They jointly said this at the launch of the national Family Planning Week in Accra yesterday.


The Ghana Country Representative of the UNFPA, Mr Niyi Ojuolape, said the organisation had facilitated the planning of families by empowering sexually active people and couples with information and also provided family planning services and products.

He said family planning was a matter of choice and, therefore, stakeholders in health would not impose it on anyone.

The launch of the week coincided with the commemoration of World Contraceptive Day, on the theme: “Family planning: Know the options, make your choices”.

The family planning event, which is marked in September every year, is to raise awareness of the proper uses and benefits of contraceptives and also promote sexual reproductive health.

Activities lined up include durbars and public engagements to raise awareness of the subject, sensitise people to the use of contraceptions and the sharing of family planning commodities or products.

“The UNFPA and the government are rather focused on empowering the population with the requisite information on the benefits of family planning and the options available and also ensuring adequate access to services and commodities, so that people of all reproductive ages can make informed choices,” Mr Ojuolape added.

He explained that family planning involved the use of contraceptive methods by anyone who was sexually active, including adolescents, and the treatment of infertility, among other services.

That, he said, implied that family planning services should be widely available and easily accessible, saying that it was the reason the UNFPA was supporting the government with the free provision of 40 per cent of all contraceptives at public health facilities, including some technical assistance.


Mr Ojuolape commended Ghana for making strides in the promotion and provision of family planning services, information and commodities.

He, however, said in spite of the achievements, more had to be done, particularly in the area of contraceptive use.

He mentioned bridging the gap in access to contraceptive commodities and providing the right information for the youth and vulnerable groups as some of the unfinished business the government had to include in its family planning agenda.


The Head of the Family Health Division of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the theme for the event reflected one of the major points in the national family planning agenda, which includes providing options and empowering people to make informed choices.

“It is on this premise that the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders continuously make the effort to increase the number of available methods in the country.

Currently, there are about seven different types of modern family planning methods available,” he said.

“They include implants, intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUDs), injectables, pills, condoms, natural family planning methods and permanent methods, such as vasectomy and female sterilisation,” he added.

He said those methods were short-term reversible, long-term reversible or permanent and, therefore, called on the public to visit health facilities for more information to guide them in making informed choices.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye debunked the myths associated with family planning methods, such as the belief that contraceptive use could cause infertility, that IUDs travelled to the heart and eventually killed or caused obesity.